Responsible tourism: Inca Trail hiking vacation, Peru
Low Impact Transportation: A trip like this experience gives you the chance to try out buses locally managed and operated by locals like the ones picking up people from airport and running sacred valley. Getting around as the locals do not only allows you to experience the culture on a deeper level, but the same way it is at home, using local transport is the most sustainable way to go – after walking of course! Supporting local culture and businesses: There are a multitude of opportunities to support local businesses and immerse yourself in Peruvian culture on this trip. From the colourful local markets to the bustling food stalls and cafes, the choices for eating and handicrafts are endless and the money is staying in the local economy - a vital way for tourism to make a positive impact. Activities that take you to markets, locally-owned restaurants, locals’ homes and villages are vital to the local peoples’ ability to truly benefit from tourism in Peru.
As A Tour Operator This company has operated on responsible tourism values since its inception. From an environmental perspective, our initiatives extend from our company offices to our tours. Our head office and stores are powered by a local green energy provider, we encourage cleaner transportation methods for staff, and purchase all supplies from a local green business supplier. Our office is as paperless as possible and our brochures use 100% PEFC certified sustainable paper.
We offset emissions from all corporate flights and our marine vessel, and encourage our travelers to do so by providing an online platform through Sustainable Travel International.
Our Local guides provide travelers with information about local environmental issues in their respective regions, and provide suggestions of how we can best protect the local environment and culture. To reduce the amount of waste created on tours, local guides also encourage travelers to use refillable water bottles instead of disposable plastic, cotton tote bags, reusable batteries, etc. We also include destination-specific information in our guidebooks, which are provided to each traveler including information particular to the local culture and environment and tips on how to be a responsible traveler.
Our style of trip, traveling, eating and staying with the locals, puts you right at the heart of Peruvian culture. Peru’s multi-ethnicity is evident in the mixing process since the arrival of Europeans to the country, Multi religious parties. In Cusco city you can appreciate the centre of the attractions around Macchu Picchu, the anniversary of Cusco Inca foundation or any catholic festival which happens around weekends, Inca constructions and palaces almost everywhere around downtown. It may not be apparent that learning about and respecting other cultures is part of being a responsible traveler, but we believe that this discovery is a natural way for people of all backgrounds, nationalities, and religions to interact and learn from each other, fostering peace and understanding. An amazing experience!
Support World Heritage: On this trip there are numerous opportunities to visit important heritage sites on foot or by taking a local bus such as the famous Centre area of Cusco with its Inca streets and temples that still amazes people like Koricancha, The Cusco Cathedral and the Archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman near the city, the well known Macchu Picchu and the quality of its construction, among others. Celebrating world heritage is an important way to participate in sustainable tourism. Many world heritage sites are designated for protection so that all the world’s people can share in these fascinating and historical wonders for generations to come.
Other optional unique experiences on this trip that allow you to support the local economy and learn about Peruvian culture include: Hike the unique Inca trail in 4D/3N to arrive into Macchu Picchu, Horseback riding trough non touristic places around Cusco city, Cooking class in Cusco learning local recipes and how to make a real good pisco sour. Truly an authentic experience!
As A Tour Operator Supporting communities is and always has been at the heart of our tours. We provide business opportunities to local people by employing local guides and tour operators. The majority of accommodation used on our tours are small-scale, locally-owned hotels and hostels. Our tours mainly use public transportation wherever possible and are small in size to keep our impact on fragile sites and communities as minimal as possible. We monitor the sustainability of our tours through traveler evaluations in order to allow for continuous improvement. We support the local economy and business initiatives by visiting locally-owned shops, restaurants, and markets on our itineraries.
Many tours incorporate community projects as a way of supplementing community income and supporting community development projects. In 2003 we founded a non-profit organization PLANETERRA as a way for our travelers and our company to give back to the people and places we visit. We develop community projects around the world in the areas of health, education, small business development and environmental conservation. Funds are raised through traveler donations and fundraising. The company pays all administration fees which means that 100% of each individual donation goes directly to the community projects. Each year, we continue to support and develop new partnerships with more community projects and community-based tourism initiatives worldwide, in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Along the trip we have the chance to visit our project of Caccaccollo community , Weaving women's project and if times allows it, the House of the children of the Sun in Cusco.